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2007 Volvo S60 T5 AWD 193,000+ miles Transmission Servicing

Mostly highway miles (80%). Never serviced transmission fluid. Volvo shop now wants to flush. They say fluid is dirty. I’m afraid I’ll lose the sludge build up in the transmission and then I’ll really have problems. My two previous SUV’s (both Nissan Pathfinders) went over 310,000 miles without ever changing transmission fluids/filters. The transmission, as is, works just fine and I am not experiencing any problems. Car mileage per gallon and performance hasn’t changed since the day I purchased the car. I put on about 40,000 - 50,000 miles a year. I’ll be getting rid of the car in about another 120,000 miles. I think I should just let things ride. Opinions please.

FYI Update: Thanks to everyone who replied. The input helped. Spoke with the head mechanic at the Volvo dealership and he said the following, quoting as best as I can remember; “The model I have does not have a filter and does not have a scheduled transmission flush. The mechanic inspecting the fluids fills out a report each and everytime the car is inspected and this time the transmission fluid came up as ‘requiring service’ (no longer red and a burned smell). They also added that at the mileage I’m at and considering that I’m averaging 40,000 miles a year, a flush will not provide a guaranteed increase the lifespan of the transmission. Considering that there are no current issiues with the transmission & mileage, they wouldn’t touch anything, but the choice is mine.” By the way, they want $550 plus 13% taxes for the flush.

Here’s some new info from my Volvo dealership. The transmission filter does not require servicing. It is a sealed filter. Should it need to be replaced, reason not provided, it is a 16 hour job at $107 an hour.

My final decision - live with the transmission as is. It’s not slipping or mis-behaving. Should the worst happen then $2,000 (that’s what they want for a new tranny, is a lot cheaper than a new $48,000 Volvo.

I’d replace the fluid and start taking better care of that anomaly*.

  • recent year high mileage volvo without major problems.

“I’m afraid I’ll lose the sludge build up in the transmission…”

Hmmm…so if your doctor wanted to put you on medication to reduce the level of cholesterol in your blood, you would say no because you don’t want to lose that icky coating in your arteries???

Cars, like people, do not function normally for very long when there is an accumulation of any type of crud in their vital fluids. You should have changed the trans fluid about 6 times so far, and that omission is going to drastically limit the life of your transmission, but I still think that you should do a “Hail Mary Pass” at this point by changing that sadly ignored transmission fluid, and then hope for the best.

If the transmission fails in the near future, it would have happened anyway as a result of poor maintenance, and the trans fluid change will have had nothing to do with that failure.

I think I would do a pan drop and filter change…Then another in 10-20,000 miles… Then another… Then once a year the way you drive… I WOULD NOT a full on flush… For lack of a better word, you dont want to shock the system, however the trans fluid in your trans is probably well past its prime.

$550 goes a long way to replacing the transmission. Honestly a flip of the coin. Just have a contingency plan when this car loses the transmission.